After a divorce, there are several things that may be forefront in your mind. First and foremost, typically is finding a way to heal from the ramifications of everything that you went through. While it’s possible that your divorce may have been calm and straightforward, there are other people who experience a contentious divorce which results in severe heartache. One of the things that needs to be on your list of things to do after your divorce is to update your estate plan. Taking this step will help to safeguard any assets that once may have been left to your ex-spouse and ensure that the individuals that you want to receive them, do.
3 Steps You Should Take to Update Your Estate Plan After a Divorce
It’s important to remember that there are several steps that you need to take and different things that you need to consider when you’re ready to update your estate plan. Here are a few examples:
- Who are you going to name as the Executor of your estate?
When a person is married, they will usually name their spouse as the Executor of their estate. In many cases, their spouse is also the primary beneficiary of their estate. However, when you get divorced, all of that goes out the window. It’s important that you take the time to select an Executor that you will trust to carry out your wishes when it comes to distributing the assets of your estate once you have passed away. This will usually be a close friend or a family member.
- Naming a guardian for any children
This part of estate planning is something that c an get tricky. Regardless of how contentious your divorce was, it may be a good idea to have a conversation with your ex about what would happen to your children in the unfortunate event that one or both of you were to pass away. In most states, if one parent passes away, the care and custody of the children would go to the other parent. However, it would be a good idea for both of you to be on the same page (if possible) when it comes to naming a guardian for your children if both of you were to pass away and name that person in your documents.
- Update your beneficiary designations
You should always update your beneficiary designations not only in your estate plan but on other accounts that you may have such as retirement accounts. Although there are certain laws in certain states that will automatically discount an ex-spouse from receiving these assets if they are named as the beneficiary, you should always update them according to how you would like to see these assets distributed now. Keep in mind that updating your estate plan after a divorce is something that may be a complex process depending on the size of your estate. The best thing that you can do is to sit down with an estate planning attorney and update your entire estate plan including your Powers of Attorney and possible trusts.
Update Your Estate Plan Today
As you can see, there are several factors to think about when it comes to updating your estate plan after a divorce. You can take comfort in the fact that our office will be there for you to guide you each step of the way. A divorce can be traumatic enough. The goal of our office is to make the estate planning process straightforward and seamless so that you can move on with your life in every way possible. Reach out to us today for more information or to schedule an appointment.